Who’s Liable in a New Mexico Truck Accident?
There are many moving parts in a truck accident claim, and finding who’s liable can be tricky. However, through proper analysis of the evidence in your case, you might find multiple parties to be negligent.
Liable Parties in Truck Accidents
Truckers drive long hours and are required to take minimum rest periods. Drivers might ignore the legal requirement and extend their driving time beyond what’s allowed, leading to fatigued driving accidents. Truck drivers might also be distracted on the road using cell phones or GPS and veer into other lanes.
Additionally, driver experience could be a factor in your truck accident. All drivers must have a commercial driver’s license and be trained to handle 18-wheelers. Inexperienced drivers often don’t know how to operate a truck carrying thousands of pounds of cargo. This could result in them driving too fast around turns or not giving themselves enough distance to stop.
A truck’s black box could provide valuable insight into the driver’s behavior during the crash. For example, it might indicate that the driver failed to decelerate, which could indicate they were distracted. The black box and other evidence could be used to determine truck driver liability.
A defective part could often be the underlying cause of a truck accident. In that case, the company that manufactured the part could be liable for your damages. The truck might have had one or more of the following defective parts:
- Brakes – Without functioning brakes, a truck could quickly turn into an 80,000-pound freight train
- Tires – Faulty tires lead to blowouts on the highway
- Underride Guards – These parts help prevent cars from sliding underneath the truck
- Windshield Wipers – Poorly functioning wipers might cause a driver to lose visibility in extreme weather conditions.
Truck Inspectors & Mechanics
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provides inspection requirements explaining how trucking companies must inspect their vehicles and how often. In general, all trucks should receive a complete inspection annually.
Certain truck parts, like emergency doors, must be inspected every 90 days. Furthermore, the drivers must complete a written report after each day of driving and note any defects they discover.
Trucking companies should also ensure that whoever performs an inspection meets the necessary qualifications. Motor carriers might have to request proof of an inspector’s qualifications from their employer. Once the vehicle is inspected, mechanics must fix the issue before the truck returns to the road.
Inspectors or drivers might fail to report any defects or deficiencies, which could result in a severe accident. Additionally, mechanics might not fix the defective truck part before clearing it for operation. In either case, the inspector or mechanic could be liable for any damages caused.
Trucking companies could be liable for many reasons, given the extensive regulations they must follow at all times. Some of these regulations include ensuring that all drivers are qualified and trained to operate commercial trucks, trucks receive annual inspections, and drivers don’t exceed their service hours.
Sometimes, trucking companies sacrifice driver safety to avoid any delays. This might result in them putting defective trucks on the road, forcing employees to drive long hours, or overloading trucks beyond capacity. These actions violate federal trucking regulations and could make them liable for any damages if an accident occurred.
Cargo must be carefully loaded and secured to the truck. The general rule is that all cargo must be immobilized or secured by structures of adequate strength, such as tie downs.
It’s important to note however that trucks could carry all kinds of cargo, and they all have different securement rules. Trucks might carry logs, metal coils, concrete pipes, large boulders, and more. If loaders fail to secure these types of cargo properly, they could be liable for your accident.
The Law Giant Can Help Establish Truck Accident Liability
When you file a personal injury claim, you must identify all liable parties. Our truck accident lawyers at The Law Giant has the knowledge and resources to establish fault in your truck accident claim. Let Law Giant Injury Lawyers investigate your case and help you pursue max compensation for your damages.
Contact us today at 505-900-0000 for a free consultation.